Without Credit

Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, Jul 18, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

We're seeing more of this: "The University of Washington plans to offer 'enhanced' versions of the massive open online courses (MOOCs) it will develop through a partnership with Coursera... The "enhanced" versions will add a number of features designed to make them more closely resemble conventional online courses -- including more assessments, direct interaction with instructors, and the opportunity to earn a certificate that hypothetically could be redeemed for course credit. But the “enhanced” MOOCs will also come with price tags and enrollment caps." To be clear: hese are no longer MOOCs, even by today's expanded definition of the term. They are simply online courses with the usual restrictions on access imposed by universities.

Meanwhile, Coursera's courses may be in some fashion 'open', but its materials certainly aren't. As Wayne Mackintosh comments on a mailing list: "Coursera is not an OER initiative. The materials are made available under a custom copyright license which do not meet the requirements for OER. Quoting from Coursera's terms of service: 'Coursera grants you a personal, non-exclusive, non-transferable license to access and use the Sites. You may download material from the Sites only for your own personal, non-commercial use. You may not otherwise copy, reproduce, retransmit, distribute, publish, commercially exploit or otherwise transfer any material, nor may you modify or create derivatives works of the material.'"

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